Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Man and a Banjo

Herb Pedersen, the man who played banjo with Vern and Ray and sang that haunting high baritone harmony, has continued a stellar career both as a headline performer and as a studio whiz kid in television, movies and the recording industry. Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, David Grisman, Tony Rice and Vince Gill are just a few of the music greats who have used his incredible talents on banjo, guitar and dobro. As a Berkeley native, he was the perfect choice to take the Jerry Garcia role when "Old And In The Way" reformed as "Old And In The Grey". Mr. Pedersen recently concluded a summer tour with Chris Hillman.

If you'd like to hear a little of what was heard at the Stewart Fieldhouse back then, Arhoolie Records has just released a live recording of Vern and Ray with Herb Pedersen from the San Francisco State Folk Festival in 1968, just a few months after they played in Winfield.

There is a very interesting photograph on Pedersen's website ( If you go to the "Photos" page and look toward the lower left, you will see a photograph from the Winfield Daily Courier, April 29, 1967 - the same one accompanying this post. Actually, I had to snag their image because the microfilm image in the Courier archives at the Winfield library is too poor to publish. If you look carefully, you can see the folds in the old Courier, someone stuck it their pocket years ago, probably Mr. Pedersen. Thanks for the pic Herb, and for forty years of great music.


No comments: